Humble taco is subject of new research

The Washington Post, 8/3/12

As the binational foodie wars wage — who invented what and when, and why have the gringos annexed it (again)? — the curious eater is now blessed with not one but two new books about the rise of the taco as the international rock star of consumables.

Here we learn that the Crunchy Taco Supreme from a Taco Bell in Arkansas and the tacos arabes on pita bread, served up at Taqueria el Greco in Mexico City, may be closer cousins than we think.

“The idea that the taco is somehow deeply authentic isn’t supported by the facts. The taco is kind of like chop suey and pepperoni pizza. Tacos are a product of modernity. And this is true not only in the United States but in Mexico,” said Jeffrey M. Pilcher, history professor and author of “Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food.”

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